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How Coronavirus is Impacting ECommerce Sales

NetElixir's continued research into impact of coronavirus on ecommerce

For many of us, we have completed our first week of remote working. To fill the weekend, we participated in virtual happy hours with coworkers, video chatted with friends, went for a walk, and, yes, online shopped. NetElixir’s continued study into how the coronavirus affects ecommerce sales and online shopping behavior analyzes and aggregates real-time consumer data to observe the day-to-day changes across seven retail categories brought about by the coronavirus outbreak. Today, we do a deep dive into Apparel and Home Furnishing.

Apparel’s Ecommerce Sales During Coronavirus

For the Apparel retail category, conversions and transactions were falling behind the 2019 data. With uncertainty over how long the coronavirus lives on clothes and cancellations of events that would have necessitated new looks, research shows that people preferred to buy the necessities like food and household supplies over indulging in fashion.

Ecommerce sales during coronavirus for clothes and apparel
Ecommerce sales for apparel improved over the weekend after a slow beginning amid the coronavirus outbreak. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

As brick and mortar store fronts are forced to close, as showcased in Retail Dive tracking retail’s response to the coronavirus, in updating store hours and how brands are servicing their employees, people turn to online shopping. In the hope of prepping a new and cute summer wardrobe and some retailers reducing shipping minimums and extending offers, the apparel retail category saw the following increases over the weekend:

  • A 46% increase in transactions from March 21 and 22, 2020, compared to the same days in 2019.
  • Average order value (AOV) increased 17%.
  • Mobile orders increased 23%.

Ecommerce sales will help the retail fashion industry make up their in-store losses and preserve their establishments. We have not seen dramatic and consistent increases for the apparel industry, but each sale supports these businesses so we can all make it through these times together.

ECommerce Sales for Home Furnishings

As people seemingly shopped more for apparel over the weekend in anticipation of when social distancing may end, ecommerce sales for home furnishing did not see as much improvement. Earlier last week, home furnishing saw a 62% increase on March 16, 2020, compared to the same day in 2019. However, over the weekend of March 21 and 22, 2020, compared to the same dates in 2019, home furnishing saw:

  • Only a 13% increase in transactions.
  • A 27% increase in conversions.
  • A 9% decrease in AOV.

Because orders for home furnishing had increased earlier, consumers seem to have bought what they wanted in anticipation of having to spend a lot of time at home. When restrictions were put in place to limit people’s travelling and outings, they planned for home improvement projects then. Now, as we move into our second week of more remote working, shoppers spend their time online elsewhere.

Home buying and home furnishing ecommerce sales during coronavirus
Home furnishings saw an initial increase in ecommerce sales as people anticipated home projects, but those sales started to decline over the weekend.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

How ECommerce Retailers can Navigate through Coronavirus

Forbes discusses the importance of remaining adaptable during these times and turning to a digital presence to continue to reach consumers and opportunities and to stay connected. As brick and mortar stores close and people are asked to stay at home and practice social distancing, a digital presence can help businesses maintain sales. People are turning more toward online shopping during the coronavirus outbreak to stock up on necessary items.

If you are wondering if it is safe to order items online, MSN notes that coronavirus does not last long on surfaces. Online shopping benefits the community, especially small businesses who had to close their stores.

Insights Powered by NetElixir

Our follow-up webinar, which will provide deeper insights into how the coronavirus is impacting ecommerce and online shoppers, will include a special Q&A interview with Parag Shah, Vice President of the Grocery Division of Wakefern for Shoprite. Parag will discuss the firsthand changes he has seen in his store and how the coronavirus outbreak affects grocery stores like Shoprite. 

Register for our live webinar on Thursday, March 26 at 2 PM ET. 

Our data is pulled from real-time customer paths to purchase during the period of outbreak, providing a gauge of immediate consumer behavior. NetElixir knows that one insight can change everything. To help your business during these times, we have a complete set of free online tools to help you understand where and how your customers are clicking and buying. All our insights are powered by LXRInsights, our proprietary analytics tool that tracks real-time data. You can request your free demo of our tool here.

You can catch up on our prior webinar from March 11 here.

For further reading, you can look through our retail analytics updates on retail ecommerce and online shopping behavior from last week: